Library of the Arnold Arboretum

Library of the Arnold Arboretum




George Russell Shaw was born in Parkman, Maine, on Oct. 28, 1848. He was educated at Harvard, receiving his A.B. in 1869 and A. M. in 1872. Barnhart describes him as an architect and amateur botanist; other biographical information is hard to find. He apparently traveled to Mexico in 1903, 1904 and 1905 to look at pines, and seems to have traveled with Cyrus Guernsey Pringle and Filemon Lozano y Lozano at least part of the time. His account of The Pines of Mexico was published in 1909 as Publication no.1 of the Arnold Arboretum, with plates which he had drawn himself. Shaw also apparently traveled to Kew to study pine specimens. His major botanical work is The Genus Pinus, published in 1914 by the Arnold Arboretum as publication no.5, also with his own illustrations. In addition, Shaw published several short articles on pines. He died on January 15, 1937, at Concord, Mass.


Barnhart, John Hendley. Biographical Notes Upon Botanists


Scope and Content:

The George Russell Shaw papers consist of five small notebooks, annotated copies of his published works, and a few miscellaneous pieces. Three of the notebooks contain field notes for Shaw's 1904 and 1905 trips to Mexico; one notebook contains notes on pines collected in the Phillipines by George Patrick Ahern, David LeRoy Topping, and Elmer Drew Merrill; and one notebook consists of notes on Kew. There are annotated copies of The Pines of Mexico and The genus Pinus, with photos and letters inserted, and there are loose pages from both. There is also a series of mounted clippings of Shaw articles and of reviews of Shaw works. There are slightly annotated copies of three articles about pines by other authors. Included in the collection are letters from R.H. Beach (1, 1929); Paul Henri Lecomte (1, 1931); Cyrus Guernsey Pringle (8, 1902-1904); Renato Robelli (1, 1931); James Rober Weir (1, 1915); and a carbon of a letter from Shaw to Charles Sprague Sargent (n.d.).



There is no record of the provenance of this collection. It may have been given to the Arnold Arboretum by Shaw of his family.


Container Listing: BOX BG

Small Notebooks

1. "Mexico--Oct.1-Nov. 13, 1904": notes on pines and a few drawings.

2. "1905 Mexico I": itinerary Sept. 25 - Oct. 4; list of checks; field notes, with sketches, Oct. 5 - Nov. 6; itinerary Nov. 7 - Nov. 11.

3. "Mexico 1905": map; itinerary Sept. 25 - Nov. 11; notes and sketches dated Oct. 5 - Nov. 6, in ink, may be a reworking of noted in book 2; section of notes in pencil which seems to be a key; notes on camera.

4. "Phillipines Ahern Topping Merrill": notes on type specimens of pines sent Aug. 1904 from the Forestry Bureau of the Philippines, with sketches.

5. "Kew": notes on pines with sketches.

Published Works & Miscellaneous Pieces

6. The Pines of Mexico: Pocket in front cover contains 8 letters from C.G. Pringle, 2 photos, and a rate schedule for public coaches of Mexico City. Pasted on first page are 3 photos, Mexico, 1904. Text is slightly annotated; a letter from R.H. Beach, Aug. 16, 1929, is inserted at end. Pasted on back cover are 2 photos and an obituary of Pringle.

7. Loose plates from The Pines of Mexico -- 5 leaves.

8. The Genus Pinus: Interleaved with blank sheets, which are heavily annotated and include additional drawings. Letters from Renato Rovelli, Jan. 10, 1931, and Paul Henri Lecomte, March 13, 1931, pasted in.

9. Loose pages from The Genus Pinus -- about 45 leaves; some illustrations have been cut out and some sketches have been inserted.

10. Mounted clippings: Description of Pinus Terthrocarpa (labeled "Vol. I -1903"); separate of The Pines of Cuba; 3 loose sheets from The Genus Pinus; clipping from Gardeners' Chronicle on Pines of Cuba; clippings from Gardeners' Chronicle on Pinus Nelsoni; separate on Pinus Nelsonii; drawing of a tree labeled "159"; clipping from Gardeners' Chronicle on Pinus Leiophylla and separate of it; description of Pinus Altamiirani (labeled "Vol.I-1905); description of Pinus Pringlei (labeled "Vol.I-1905"); clipping from Gardeners' Chronicle on Pinus Pinceana; separate on "Characters of Pinus: The Lateral Cone"; description of Pinus Greggii (labeled "Vol.II 1907"); description of Pinua Lumholtzii (labeled "Vol. II 1907"); review of The Genus Pinus from Bulletin de la Societe Dendrologique de France; review of The Genus Pinus from the Gardeners' Chronicle.

11. Loose items: separates of "The Black Cone of Pinus Ponderosa"; typed "List of Pines"; letter from James R. Weir to Shaw, June 16, 1915; negative of a photo in 6 above.

12. "The Pine Trees of the Rocky Mountain Region", USDA Bulletin No. 460, slightly marked.

13. "Notes on Antillean Pines with Description of a new Species from the Isle of Pines" by W.W. Rowles; carbon of a letter from George Russell Shaw to C.S. Sargent pasted in.

14. "Observations sur les pins maritime et sylvestre cultives dans le centre de la France" by Morogues.


Indexed in Main File under:

George Russell Shaw
Cyrus Guernsey Pringle 1838-1911


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